Comprehending

And finishing up with VOICES in images…

 

Do you notice anything about this Time magazine cover from 2013?

It’s clever, right?  Each face represents a different culture, overall conveying Australia’s multicultural society.  Each culture is given a VOICE.

Or are they?

There seems to be one extremely important VOICE that has been omitted.

Can you deduct whose is it?

Comprehending

ATAR ENGLISH CONCEPT – VOICE

The glossary at the back of your SCSA ATAR English syllabus (found here:  https://senior-secondary.scsa.wa.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/5754/English-Y12-Syllabus-AC-ATAR-GD.pdf) offers a definition of this course concept:

Over the next week or so we will look at VOICES in a wide variety of texts.

VOICES IN TEXTS. Think of the phrase “giving a voice to the voiceless”. Voices in texts gets us to think about writers, directors, poets, bloggers, journalists etc. who may want to speak out on behalf of someone – an individual, a minority group – and present their PERSEPCTIVE.

Today, we'll kick off with this image.

#KiyiyaVuranInsanlik (“Humanity washed ashore”)   This photograph of a toddler’s lifeless body that washed ashore on a prime tourist resort beach in Turkey, after a refugee boat sank, sparked horrified reactions across the world.  “The harrowing image that shows the true tragedy of the refugee crisis,” read a headline in Britain’s Daily Telegraph, while the Guardian said the photo “brought home” the horror of the situation.  “If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don’t change Europe’s attitude to refugees, what will?” The Independent said.

TO WHOM IS THE PHOTOGRAPH GIVING A VOICE?

The photograph of the policeman cradling a toddler’s body is extremely shocking and upsetting but the media felt that it needed to be seen.

Can you see how such a CONTROVERSIAL photograph can give a VOICE to the plight of refugees, in particular, the innocent children of families trying to flee war-torn countries?

The photograph was published at a time when EMPATHY for the refugee crisis was lacking across Europe and had a huge impact, conveying the PERSPECTIVE of a refugee and changing attitudes worldwide.

Composing

Writing from a different PERSPECTIVE

The COMPOSING SECTION of your ATAR exam, or an internal creative writing assessment for your teacher, is where you may be asked to write from a different perspective.

PERSPECTIVE is an ATAR course concept that is designed to encourage ATTITUDES in Australian students such as empathy, tolerance, understanding, acceptance, compassion and the like.

To quote the great Atticus Finch, "You never really understand a person until you climb into [their] skin and walk around in it."   The concept of PERSPECTIVE is trying to make you see the world from someone else's point of view, understand their perspective of things.

When COMPOSING a piece of writing that offers a PERSPECTIVE different to your own, you might consider offering the PERSPECTIVE of:

  • an elderly person
  • a homeless person
  • a refugee
  • a parent
  • a transgender person
  • an Aboriginal child being taken from their family in 1920s (Stolen Generation)
  • a celebrity
  • a zombie / vampire / wizard / werewolf etc
  • a person suffering from depression
  • an athlete going for gold
  • a girl growing up in Afghanistan
  • who is not allowed to go to school OR who has been kidnapped by Boko Haram
  • a soldier in WWI, WWII, Middle East
  • a Jew during WWII
  • a Rohingya person fleeing Burma
  • an astronaut about to leave for Mars
  • a victim of child trafficking

The list is endless!

Try and get to the heart of that person's ATTITUDES towards life, people, themselves.  What do they VALUE?  Why do they act/think the way they do?  How might their experiences shape them?

HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT OF writing from an UNUSUAL or UNEXPECTED PERSPECTIVE?  This was a requirement in the 2016 WACE ATAR English examination.

What about writing from the PERSPECTIVE of an ANIMAL?

  • being hunted in the wild
  • in a loving family
  • living in a zoo
  • involved in animal testing
  • on the verge of extinction
  • a victim of abuse
  • lost/homeless

How interesting and unusual would that be?  And imagine the VOICE you could create!

Or what about writing from the PERSPECTIVE of an INANIMATE OBJECT:

The COMPOSING SECTION is all about showing off your creativity.

Being asked to write from a different PERSPECTIVE can be really fun.  Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box!

FEEL FREE TO LEAVE YOUR OWN INTERESTING AND ORIGINAL IDEAS IN THE COMMENTS BELOW 🙂